Shinzo Abe murder suspect fit for trial after psychiatric review: Report

Shinzo Abe murder suspect fit for trial after psychiatric review: Report

Shinzo Abe was shot dead in broad daylight while delivering a campaign speech. (File)


Japanese authorities have found the man accused of murdering former prime minister Shinzo Abe fit for trial after a lengthy psychiatric evaluation, local media said on Tuesday.

Television footage shows Tetsuya Yamagami being transferred to a police station in western Nara from a detention center in neighboring Osaka, where he spent five months during the evaluation.

According to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, the assessment found the 42-year-old man was fit to be prosecuted.

National broadcaster NHK said prosecutors would indict him on Friday.

Police and local prosecutors declined to comment on Yamagami’s case when contacted by AFP.

Yamagami was arrested at the scene after Abe was shot dead in broad daylight while giving a campaign speech in Nara in July.

The suspect is said to have targeted Abe in the belief that the former prime minister had links to the Unification Church.

Yamagami is said to have resented the church for the large donations his mother had made that bankrupted his family.

Local media said his psychiatric assessment focused on his relationship with his mother and home environment.

Abe, who received a rare state funeral, was not a member of the church but spoke before an affiliated group, as well as other powerful speakers such as former US president Donald Trump.

Founded in South Korea in 1954 by Sun Myung Moon, the church – whose members are sometimes referred to as “Moonies” – rose to global prominence during the 1970s and 1980s.

The church, officially known as the Family Federation for World Peace and Unity, has denied wrongdoing and pledged to prevent “excessive” donations from members.

Abe’s death led to unexpected revelations about the close ties between the church and many ruling, conservative lawmakers, angering the public and driving the approval ratings for the Prime Minister’s administration. Fumio Kishida plummeted.

Kishida has ordered a government investigation that could cause the Unification Church to lose its tax-exempt status in Japan, although it may still continue to operate.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)

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